Theories on personality have been variously described by psychologists. Different psychologists have proposed different theories that attempt to explain and identify the origins of personality. These theories of personality include the psychodynamic theory, humanistic model, five-factor model and the social-cognitive theory. Sigmund Freud coined the famous psychodynamics theory in relation to his psychoanalytical approach. The psychodynamics theory focuses on the interrelationship of different parts of humanity. These includes the mind, personal character, personality, or psyche in relation to the mental, motivational drives or emotional forces particularly at the unconscious level (Frick 8). The theory studies the psychological forces that relate to emotional forces, feelings, human character and how these aspects are influenced by early experiences. In his proposition, Freud states that the psychological energy never changed and related to emotional states of the id, ego and superego during a child’s early development and growth (Frick 10). The humanistic theory on personality studies people’s inherent drive to achieve self-actualization and creativity. Maslow indicated that individuals attempt to realize their full potential once most important basic needs have been satisfied. The humanistic theory on personality emphasize on the fact that human beings think rationally and are conscious in controlling any biological urges in their pursuit of self-actualization (Frick 94).
The trait personality traits stipulate that a person’s personality can be best understood through studying the traits and characteristics of that person. The theory appreciates the fact that different individuals possess different traits and based on those traits, a person’s identity can be explained (Frick 48). The social-cognitive theory, on the other hand, is of the view that the fulfillment of the psychological needs is based on feelings, emotions and the desire. It states that an individual’s knowledge is directly related to observing other people, their interactions, influences and experiences (Frick 72). An advantage of psychodynamic theory is that it provides an ideal conception of how the earlier experiences and relationships affect personality. The disadvantage is that Freud’s theory is based on case studies and generalizations, and it does not consider cultural variations. Humanistic theory is more realistic compared to other theories, but the demerit is that it is naively optimistic and cannot be tested easily (Frick 94). The strength of trait theory is its capability to categorize behaviors based on observable traits. However, the theory fails consider unpredictability of behavior and fail to explain why people behave the way they do. Social-cognitive theory is an evolving theory that centers its arguments on social behaviors. However, its findings are preliminary and excessively based on self-reports.
Frick, Willard B. Personality Theories: Journeys into Self : an Experiential Workbook. New York: Teachers College Press, 1991. Print.